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Can Kyra Sedgwick cop another Emmy for 'The Closer'?

July 12, 2011 | 10:42 am

War zoneTNT's police detective drama "The Closer" returned Monday night for its seventh and final season -- just a few days before the announcement of Emmy nominations. Its star, Kyra Sedgwick, won the award for best drama actress last year, and she'll certainly be back on the list Thursday morning, but can she pull off a repeat victory over the rival who most pundits predicted would win last year -– Julianna Margulies ("The Good Wife")?

Some Emmy watchers believe that Sedgwick won because Margulies made a big mistake: She submitted the wrong episode ("Threesome") to Emmy judges instead of the pilot of "The Good Wife." Sedgwick prevailed with a strong entry, "Maternal Instincts," in which her character is forced to use her niece to uncover the motive for a murder. Now she plans to enter another hefty episode, "War Zone" from Season 6, in which her character decides to let a confessed murderer be killed on the street by his fellow gang members. Margulies has not yet declared her episode, but she has a number of emotion-filled options to submit as ties with her husband and best friend fell apart toward season's end.

"The Closer" was an instant hit when it premiered in 2005, becoming the highest-rated show on basic cable. Sedgwick's performance generated a lot of media attention in the early years, as well as a Golden Globe Award in 2007. However, she lost four consecutive Emmy races for lead drama actress -– to Mariska Hargitay ("Law & Order: SVU") in 2006, Sally Field ("Brothers & Sisters") in 2007, and Glenn Close ("Damages") in 2008 and 2009.

Last year, she was nominated for the fifth time and prevailed even though buzz for the series had died down and she was facing Margulies, who had just won the Golden Globe and SAG Award for playing a politician's betrayed spouse on "The Good Wife." Sedgwick will likely face most of the same contenders this year. Only one of last year's nominees is out of contention: Close will not be back because "Damages" did not air new episodes during the eligibility period. Likely additions to the category are Katey Sagal ("Sons of Anarchy") and another TV detective, Mireille Enos, for AMC's freshman series "The Killing."

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-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Kyra Sedgwick in the "War Zone" episode of "The Closer." Credit: TNT

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